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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E7

Before we start tonight's wrap up can I just say – Megan? Sally? Alison? Anyone remember them? Anyone at all? Did they ever appear on screen outside of the opening credits? WERE THEY EVER EVEN FINALISTS? A chocolate frog to the first person who can recall anything memorable any of them ever did. (And being in the opening credits doesn't count).

We open tonight on a totally spontaneous and unrehearsed scene, in which Sophie and Kathryn are reclining by the pool in their sunglasses when their strategically placed advertisement mobile phone makes a pinging noise. Two weeks ago this would have scared the crap out of Kathryn enough to cry “WITCHCRAFT!” and throw Sophie off the balcony, but since then she's learned the wonders of the telephone and recognises it as a message from their esteemed leader, the Shiralee.

With a flick of her golden hair and a flash of her sparkling teeth, she tells the modelettes they're all slack molls and have to do more exercise. Or something along those lines anyway. Everyone ignores the fact that they're all an average of 19 years old and have these sorts of bodies without having to do any exercise whatsoever, and two are sent off to the gym, two to yoga, and two to a dance studio.

No one is particularly thrilled about this, except for Sophie who reveals she has nicknames for her biceps - “Des and Troy, together we destroy”. As disturbing as this is, it's nothing compared to the sights that await her at the gym, namely – Alex and Perry, in gym gear he's quite scary.


Of COURSE he's still got his sunglasses on his head.


“He was MASSIVE, he was ripped AS, I was looking at his guns like woahman, Des and Troy got nothing on you!” says Sophie.


Des and Troy. Together they FARKIN GO OFF!


“I train at least four to five times a week,” Pezza says, helpfully pointing out “and I'm not a model”. Thanks for the tip, your complete lack of neck wasn't enough of a giveaway.

While Sophie and Kathryn rip through their quads, abs and glutes under the watchful glare of Pezza, who occasionally cracks a stockwhip over their backs and shouts “HARDER!”, Jess and Joanna are sitting around in a garden on the other side of town with Dawson doing sweet bugger all in the name of “balance and harmony”.

“The reason I love doing yoga is it can make me present in the moment,” says Dawson, while Joanna starts squealing “PRESENTS? I WANT PRESENTS IN A MOMENT! BMX BIIIIIKE!!!”

And then there's Bros, who has bought himself a “Funny 1930s Gangster Dude (with detachable spats!)” costume from his local Cunnos and has holed up in a studio somewhere to choreograph the latest film clip for his new band, Swing King Flinn and the Shebangabangs. Sadly he is interrupted by Kel-manda just before he gets to practise his paso doble.


"A life lived in fear is a life ha... OH HAI GIRLZ!"


He tells Kel-manda that the three most desirable traits in a model are grace, elegance and balance, which is why he throws them into some tights with giant punctuation marks on them, sticks them both in dodgy top hats an makes them jump up and down in front of a mirror.


The epitome of elegance. Meanwhile, are Amanda's legs swearing?


Meanwhile back at the gym, Pezza is dishing out more pearls of wisdom as he puts Sophie, Kathryn, Des and Troy through their paces.

“When you exercise regularly, it allows you to be fit and active,” he says, as millions of viewers around the country simultaneously construct a sentence using the words “no” and “shit”.

Over in the park Dawson, Jess and Joanna have just finished “downward dog” and are now into “upward clacker”....


How awkward for that couple in the background.


...and back in the studio the three stooges continue their work on the crappiest dance routine since Murrumbidgee Primary School's performance of “A Bush Christmas”, in which several year 3 students had to be hospitalised after slipping in mess left by Kevin the kelpie.

Thankfully this segment comes to a close at this point (jeez – Jess and Joanna dodged a bullet there, eh?) and we move on to the next thrilling challenge – walking through the streets of Sydney.

“I don't know Sydney AT ALL so I had NO CLUE,” says Jessica. I think we should probably add a feature to the ANTM drinking game about here – any time anyone says they have NOY IDEA or NOY CLUE, drink a shot.


See you in the emergency room.


They all traipse into the Metro Theatre where they are greeted by model, TV presenter and sports star Kris Smith, otherwise known as “that guy wot goes out with Dannii Minogue”. Fortunately everyone is looking their best for such an exciting occasion, except Sophie, who has obviously developed a bald patch and is training her hair to sweep over the top of it:


"You can hardly tell, right?"


Mr Minogue tells them they'll have to slap on some cheap cotton underwear and dance to an Evermore song, which sounds rather like most Friday nights at my place (if you substitute “dance” for “cry into” and “Evermore song” for “bottle of vodka”.)

Kel-manda grins to itself, knowing the hour spent in punctuation tights and top hats at Bros's dance studio will TOYTALLY give it the upper hand.

Apparently the modelette who dances the best in their undies gets to become a Bond girl and star in a campaign about tubes.


You Google "bond" and "tubes" and this is what you get. Makes about as much sense as the brief.


Suddenly Pee Wee Herman and Brad Pitt's nerdy cousin burst into the room to teach the modelettes how to touch their crotches. I look down to check if I have a warm crack pipe in my other hand but no, this is actually happening.


The last word in cool.


With some bum wiggling, some crotch grabbing and some arse stroking it's certainly a difficult dance routine - probably put most eloquently by Sophie: “If you fuck it up, yer gunna look like a bit of douchebag.” Quite.

Suddenly the modelettes' stage rehearsal is interrupted by three nerds – clearly a bunch of autograph seeking geeks who have followed them in from outside. It's like an episode of Glee but with more jocks (albeit cotton ones). Just as Dawson is about to swing in from the rafters and punt them out they introduce themselves as the band.


Oh. Right. Cool.


Fortunately Kel-manda is still impressed.


"What band did you say you were in again?”


Outside, and clearly as well as the Evermore underwear concert the Metro is hosting an event people would actually be interested in going to, possibly in a back room somewhere, as there is a huge queue of people snaking down the street waiting to get in. Maybe they are giving away free donuts or something.

Back on stage and Evermore are counting their cash, er, I mean striking up their instruments for what is no doubt their most prestigious gig yet – the Australia's Next Top Model Bonds Tube Bra Challenge.

“We've got some spishil gists for thus nixt song,” says one of the Kiwi nerds, as the modelettes storm out on stage in 1980s dayglo underwear and start dancing in what looks like a deleted scene from Porky's.

As they strut and pout and grind their booty, hundreds of teenage girls with low self esteem watching in the audience instantly develop an Evermore-related eating disorder – every time Boys and Girls comes on the radio they will now feel the urge to vomit. Like the rest of us.

“What the girls have just done requires far more bravery than any rugby final that I've ever played in,” says Mr Minogue. If rugby players had to play the final in tube bras and g strings, I would totally watch.

In a nutshell:

  • Kathryn is criticised for looking “uncomfortable”. Possibly because she was asked to dance in her underwear in front of thousands of people. TO A BAND FROM NEW ZEALAND.


  • Spohie is given an “A for effort”, even though she stuffed up half the dance moves. Her hair gets a D.


  • Kelsey is criticised for taking the Bonds brand – which has a happy, teen, colourful, comfortable, fun vibe - and giving it more of a “3am, car park, pole dancer, hood of a car” kind of vibe, courtesy of her X rated dance moves.


  • Amanda and Kelsey are nominated as the best performers, but sadly their siamese twin alter ego Kel-manda can't take the prize, so Amanda does, making her the inner tube bondage girl, or whatever the hell the prize is.




"So what, I've still got the Botox campaign.”


Ever the sore loser, Sophie gets straight on the phone to The Boyfriend to complain about... her hair.

So, probably allowable in this case, then.

“The only reason why I didn't win is because of my hair,” she says.


You know, I tend to agree.


“I was so pissed off, because I did the best job out of anyone,” she rants.

There is a huge silence as her boyfriend, who has been watching the footy for the last 20 minutes, tries to remember what she's been talking about so he can respond appropriately. He can't, so just says: “Yeah that's pretty gay.”


Just like this. Although this guy has better hair.


Suddenly it's 11.24pm, and all the modelettes are tucked up in bed asleep, because that's what 19 year olds do when you throw them in a house together with no rules and regulations or responsible adults.

But their slumber is interrupted by a Sarah Mail telling them to pack their bags and get out of the house in half an hour, in what is a clear breach of the Residential Tenancies Act. They should seriously take that bitch to consumer affairs. Oh wait, they're just leaving temporarily – some sort of holiday or something. Whatever, they have to pack warm clothes and leave at midnight in the lime green cavalcade of the... HANG ON.


Could this be the ACTUAL Apocalypse?


Suddenly the Shiralee calls. Phew, can't be the Apocalypse then – she would certainly have been spirited away to a higher plane by now. She double checks that the girls have “noy idea” where they're going.


We have noy idea – CHECK.


As soon as the girls see mountains with snow on them, they quickly work out they're going to the snow, because they're smart like that. It's exciting for them but it's even better for Bros, who he gratefully gets into the cavalcade after spending the entire night shivering on the side of the road waiting for the bus out of Thredbo.


“Christ, when is the 621 going to rock up?”


Despite the hordes of tourists at Thredbo he's managed to avoid being recognised thanks to his cunning disguise as a 19th century Russian tzar in fancy dress as a western suburbs drug dealer.


“Da, zis batch of ice is very good, das vadanya.”


He tells them they'll be lounging around in the snow in lingerie, which doesn't sound like a tempting prospect until you consider their other challenge this week was “dancing to Evermore in lingerie”. I think I know which I'd prefer.


See my point?


They go up in a chairlift, which holds no intereste for anybody save for the fact that it allows Amanda to make yet another reference to faeces: “Sophie will be crapping herself,” she says. SERIOUSLY, THIS GIRL'S ABILITY TO PUT POO IN EVERY CONVERSATION KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

“THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING I'VE COME TO A ROLLER COASTER!” shrieks Sophie, as she gently glides up the mountain on the chairlift at approximately 4km an hour.

At the top all the modelettes get haired and makeupped and dressed in skimpy lingerie covered in sequins. Not to be outdone, Bros shows off his brand new hat he bought at the gift shop.


“It has a drawstring and everything!”


Bros points out a rack full of dead animals in the corner and helpfully outlines the ethical guidelines for the shoot, which basically boil down to: bothersome animal rights organisations have tried to get fashion designers to stop using fur for decades, but the reality is, fur is totally hot, so that's the end of that.

“You can make the decision as to whether you want to wear the fur or not,” he says, which I think is quite fair – either freeze your arse off in your ethics, or put on this fur coat. Simple.

“I guess if I had to kill an animal I wouldn't wear the fur, but I didn't have to do that so it didn't bother me,” Sophie says, getting over the ethical dilemma with admirable ease.

I'm still waiting for the moment where the Shiralee jumps out from behind a boulder and shouts “SURPRISE! IT'S ALL FAUX FUR!” but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, so I guess I have to assume that a very rare animal actually died just to be stretched around Sophie's head.


And for services to hairstyles the world over, I applaud its sacrifice.


In a nutshell:

  • Sophie is told to pull a face that expresses how she would feel if someone came to rescue her, and she does her usual Princess Diana look. Surely if they want some realism here all they have to do is ACTUALLY abandon her, and come back in five days. Then they'd get the look they wanted.


  • Jess gives up on her principles and swathes herself in dead, fluffy animal for the purposes of fashion. GOOD FOR YOU, JESS.


  • Amanda reclines on some rocks in her undies and a coat, looks rather like an extra from Crime Investigation Australia.


And from the top of the mountain it's a slippery slope down to the elimination warehouse, where bad models are fed into the Ice Master 3000 nd sprayed all over Thredbo on low snow days.

Let's picture bitch:

  • Kelsey looks like a call girl whose just come out of the effects of rohypnol and found herself in the middle of the forest.


  • Dawson describes Joanna's photo as “being like dysentery”. Amanda slaps herself for not coming up with that one first.


  • Sophie is labelled both “expensive” and “Italian Vogue”. See what happens when you cover her hair up?


  • Jessica the unemployed girl from the country tells the judges she doesn't buy fur. All of them collapse from surprise.


  • In what is possibly the biggest load of B.S since Pedro Al Pablovar drowned in dung at the Madrid Matadors' Association Christmas party, the Shiralee tells Jess she shouldn't have worn fur on the shoot if she didn't believe in it, claiming that “we would never eliminate somebody from the competition because of a belief they had.”



Kimberly Oh, except her.


As always it comes down to two – Joanna the odd and Kelsey the short. But ultimately the short odds are - Joanna's out. She trips out the door, off to pursue another career as Wednesday on the highly lucrative Addams Family impersonators circuit.

See you next week, kids!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Australia's Next Top Model Wrap Up: S6/E6

Before we get into this week's action, can I just ask: why has the ANTM theme tune been sung by someone apparently in the middle of cooking pancakes on a faulty stovetop? “Don't stop, too hot, on top, you'll drop, so hot, too hot, so hot, SO HOT” - it's very distracting. Can't she use an electric frypan?


"I said 'STOP, TOO HOT' you idiot! Now look what you've done."


Anyway, back to the show, which opens in the usual way – a bunch of teenagers going “blah blah blah” about whatever it was that happened last week. The biggest “blah blah blah” this week comes from Amanda, who is appalled that Kimberly suggested she was going to go to leave the show to go to school and get “a real job”.

“So she's saying that Jez Smith, Charlotte Dawson and Sarah Murdoch – they haven't got real jobs?” she says.


I dunno Daws – is it a real job?


“She just basically crapped on their professions,” she continues. Meanwhile, a hundred thousand kilometres away, a table full of screenwriters for American Pie 18 get a strange shivery sensation, and the unnerving feeling that somewhere out there exists a person with an even greater propensity for poo references than themselves.

Back at Model HQ and everyone is pretending to eat breakfast when a pair of ginormous Babybel cheeses bounces into the room, and... oh wait, it's just Jez Smith's pecs. It must have been the red, waxed quality that confused me.


“Sometimes when I wax, I weep.”


He says something about animals, and how they're going to hang out in the studio and take some photos together. Be careful ladies - that's just what they said to that girl in the horse video that gets emailed all round the internet.

They go to some studio and meet some guy, who tells them to take all their makeup off so he can get to know the angles of their faces. I'm not sure when the animals come into it, but it's sounding a bit pervy already, for sure.

He tells Brittney her best feature is HER ENTIRE FACE. So just remember Brittney, when you're being photographed, make sure to get YOUR FACE into the shot. Kathryn is reminded that she has a “break out” on her chin.


Yes. See, I'd say that's less a “break out” and more a full scale prison riot.


Kelsey is instructed to permanently squint her right eye, as it's bigger than her left. Alternatively she could whack a patch over one of them and get a gig in the burgeoning “pirate chic” market.

“The mouth you've got now, is that the mouth that ends up getting photographed?” he asks Amanda, to which she replies “No, fuckwit, I put my other mouth on for photo shoots, WHAT DO YOU RECKON?”

He declares she has a “lip problem”, but helpfully gives her some instructions for how to fix it like “keep your lips closed, but your mouth open”.


Not like this.


After this enlightening facial masterclass, the girls do a photo shoot with Mr Babybel. In a nutshell:

  • Brittney the model bot finally finds her personality software, installs it and fires up in front of the camera even – SHOCK – smiling.


  • Joanna discovers that she looks great pouting, scowling and generally looking evil, but absolutely frightening when she smiles.


  • Jez tells Kathryn she has “a real sadness” in her eyes, and the poignant music starts – omg, is she about to tell us how she was abused as a child? Maybe her father was beaten to death with a bikini, like Kim's was? But no, she's not sad. She's just Kathryn. Ho hum.



Sad? Whatcyootalkinbout, Willis?


  • Sophie is praised for her excellent skin, which was no doubt a factor in her landing the latest “BOTOX – IT'S TOTALLY SAFE” campaign:



"I'VE HAD BOTOX AND YOU CAN HARDLY TELL."


  • Sophie's ad campaign has clearly had the desired effect on Amanda, as she's obviously pumped the bottom half of her face with Botox and can no longer move it. Jez tells her she does the same expression in every photo:



Which I believe I have just scientifically proven.


The lime green cavalcade of the Apocalypse arrives to whisk the girls away - as usual they have “NOY IDEA” where they're going, even after they turn up at a building with “Carnival Film Studio” written on the side.

“I was freaking out because it was just this massive room with a camera,” says Sophie, who has obviously forgotten that she already spends a fair bit of time sitting in a room with a camera.


Like this young lad.


Fortunately Dawson is there with the winner of Australia's Next Top Hobbit to explain the challenge - filming a TV commercial for Telstra.


Why couldn't they just use him in the commercial?


Samwise Gamgee explains the “plot” of the commercial, which coincidentally is about as complicated as the Lord of the Rings trilogy – four girls put on oversized tuxedos and synchronise their mobile phones to infiltrate and take over a “New York style party”, seemingly just to change the music selection, before disrobing and... fuck, I can't remember, I got lost at this point. I think it ends with Kelsey throwing the ring into Mordor.

Each girl is first put through a quick screentest in which they must stand in front of the camera and show some personality, before putting on and taking off a jacket. Admittedly, this sounds like a relatively easy task, until you consider it's the ANTM contestants doing it.

In a nutshell:

  • When Kelsey is asked what sets her apart from the other girls, she giggles like a three year old, ducks her head and says “I'm not sure!” So the answer is “a brain injury”, obviously.


  • Joanna puts on a giant suit jacket and does a passable impression of Quasimodo. Is this the look Telstra is going for? No. No it isn't.


  • Samwise asks Sophie if she's ever aspired to be an actor. “When I was little I always wanted to be on Blue Heelers,” she says. Yes, but did you ever aspire to be an ACTOR?


  • Dawson puts on her glasses, so you know she means business.



“SO SMART.”


Then they're all introduced to “William”, who is going to choreograph a dance scene for them.

“He's worked with some amazing people, like Kylie,” Samwise says.


“You know Kylie – Gazza's girlfriend. Oh sorry, did you think I meant... oh whoops! Never mind.”


William grabs Kelsey as his dance partner and immediately starts thrusting his pelvis at her, making Amanda jealous.


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is the first female William has thrust his pelvis at in some time.


Samwise declares that Joanna and Kelsey look too much alike to be in the same commercial together, and are the same height. This raises several questions:

1. If Joanna and Kelsey are the same height, why has everyone been banging on about Kelsey being short but calling Joanna Christmas?

2.It's not Joanna and Kelsey that look the same, it's Amanda and Kelsey. Seriously, I CANNOT TELL THEM APART. The only time I know it's Amanda talking to camera and not Kelsey is because of that bloody leopard print top. I swear.



Seriously. Can you tell the difference?


Amanda, Brittney, Kelsey and someone else whose name probably ends in an “ee” sound get picked for the ad, while the others are sent back to Model HQ to scrub the floor or something. Sophie has a quick cry in the diary room but, ever the professional, still uses the opportunity to show off the amazing feat of structural engineering that is her hairdo.


Centuries from now, they will wonder how it was built.


The four chosen ones spend the next 10 hours in the living room “rehearsing” the “dance” that “William” has “choreographed” for them. Or, in other words, jumping around like uncoordinated dickheads.


Hey, at least Brittney's enjoying it.


This display which gets the desired reaction from the losers:


Kathryn is thrilled.



Joanne gives it the thumbs up!


Just checking – is anyone else totally bored with this episode? Good, OK, moving on.

The next morning all the modelettes are forced out of bed at 4am to go meet Samwise, who tells them the forces of Sauroman are moving quickly on the Shire and they have to hurry. And also that the three losers (or “leftovers” as he so touchingly puts it) will get to be extras in the commercial. Yay for them.

The leftovers are made to do their own makeup and hair while the others are primped and preened and have chickens stapled to their shoulders.


“Ha ha, you look ridiculous!” “Ha ha, I know!”



Commercial filming in a nutshell:

  • Six foot four Brittney is put in six inch tall fetish heels, and declared too tall. A phrase involving the words “no” and “shit” springs to mind.


  • They fix Brittney's height problem by removing her shoes. Sadly, it seems that's also where she was keeping her personality, which remains absent for the rest of the shoot.



Samwise's expression says it all.


  • Quentin Tarantino steps in as guest director for the final scene. Kelsey and Jess fight over who gets to be Mr Pink.



Funny, I don't remember the “chicken smuggling” scene in Reservoir Dogs.


Suddenly – Sarah Mail. This one goes on about “sorting the lions from the lambs” and “using your instinct”. A clever person might add these clues to the earlier suggestion that they'd be doing a shoot with animals, and infer that they might be doing a shoot with animals. But not Sophie.

“We all instantly thought of animals, but we still weren't sure,” she says.


SHARP.


They all head to the studio where they're greeted by Bros, in his latest cunning disguise as the lovechild of Kenickie and Billy Idol:


“It's a nice day for a wella wella wella HUH!”


It's a good effort, but his skills are nothing compared to Sophie, who pulls off a startlingly accurate impression of a sideshow clown just to show him up:


“Beat that, Bros.”


The editor of Cosmo magazine is also there to explain the shoot to the girls, which goes something like this: “There are seven of you girls to do shots for an eight page spread in Cosmo, but each of you will have to pose with two different accessories, and one of you will miss out, meaning that 23 of you will get a chance to star in 11 and a half pages of the magazine wearing 33.3 accessories each. Good luck.”


My thoughts exactly.


The fashion director explains that this shoot is meant to show off the “latest accessories for summer”, which apparently include S&M gear and crocodiles.


The perfect look for a summer barbecue!


And pigs.


That's its brother in her other hand.


In a nutshell:

  • Bros wraps a giant python around Sophie's neck. Despite her wooden personality it fails to confuse her for a tree, and sadly refuses to strangle her to death.


  • Sophie looks 120 per cent amazing, prompting this sparkling piece of dialogue between her and Bros which will no doubt be entered in some kind of TV screenplay awards:

    “You've really upped the ante.”
    “Well, it's a competition.”
    “It is. And you're in it.”
    “Definitely.”


  • Joanna poses with an owl and is asked to give a “wooden look”. Brittney rushes to the set crying “I CAN DO THAT!” but it turns out they just want Joanna to wear some wooden glasses...



...made out of balsa and superglue by her 12 year old brother.


  • Amanda is dressed in bondage gear and made to pose with a croco... hang on, wtf?



Are you TRYING to confuse me here?


  • “I had to work with a massive bird,” says Brittney.



Funnily enough, the parrot said the same thing to his buddies afterwards.


  • In what is a metaphor for the entire modelling industry, Brittney spends the whole shoot wobbling her head around and staring before being crapped on by Max the parrot.



Bros is not impressed.


  • Kathryn is mauled by a giant dalmation in her shoot and is criticised for looking “distracted”. Perhaps if they didn't want their models looking distracted, THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE PUT A LARGE, RANDY DOG ON SET WITH THEM.


  • The whole day is summed up by Bros, who says “It was difficult – you had to work with an unpredictable creature that doesn't necessarily care that it's on a Cosmo shoot.” Of course he says “necessarily” because as everyone knows, pigs love Cosmo.


And with that, it's off to the elimination warehouse, where Max the parrot is chowing down on sunflower seeds to brew up an extra large deposit for tonight's loser.

Shall we picture bitch?

  • Amanda poses in her underwear with a pig, looks gorgeous. Also looks a bit like Kelsey.


  • Brittney looks totally vacant, but utterly gorgeous. Even with parrot crap down her back.


  • Sophie looks brilliant and.. oh for fuck's sake, they all look good this week. This is boring.


  • All the judges say approximately three words about each modelette, severely limiting the chances for comedy.


  • Blah blah blah, this episode sucks.


In the end it comes down to two – Kathryn the dog toy and Brittney the massive bird. Kathryn is deemed too fragile, but Brittney is told she's too young, and is sent packing. Next time act your shoe size Britt!

See you next week, kidlets..